Who You'll Be Learning from
      . . . and What You'll Be Learning

In this unprecedented series of dialogues, each of 38 thought leaders begins by sharing his or her personal testimonial—how they came to faithfully embrace evolution and how a science-celebrating form of Christianity has vitalized their life journey. The host, Michael Dowd, then draws each thought leader into conversational reflections on faith-and-science topics that build upon the particular expertise and life learnings of each expert.

Because Dowd is a well-known peer in this area of study and advocacy, the dialogues are far from standard interviews. There are, of course, respectful disagreements—but, overall, enthusiasm for shared insights and leading-edge ideas propel each dialogue into realms of mutual delight.

Throughout, Dowd invites each thought leader to probe deeply into that which underlies their ideas. So here, too, you will encounter the richly subjective experiences that abound and beckon all 38 unique journeys of discovery.

Conversational dynamics make the listening experience both engaging and memorable. Tonal nuances, laughter, and surprise offer far more than mere ideas. There is intimacy; there is invitation. Indeed, Dowd reflects:

"There is no richer and more engaging way for listeners to encounter new ideas that sing to their soul—and to easily identify which science-and-religion leaders they'll want to learn more from."

Dowd concludes,

"Any Christian or seeker who is looking to energize their faith in a way that says Yes! to the great and ongoing discoveries of science will find tremendous value in these historic conversations."

Following are brief introductions to each of the speakers, along with some of the topics addressed . . .

Episode 1:  Ian Barbour - “God and Evolution”

   Ian Barbour is the elder statesman in the science and religion movement. He was awarded the Templeton Prize in 1999 and is the author of Myths, Models, and Paradigms; Religion in an Age of Science; and Nature, Human Nature, and God.

  • Four ways people tend to view the relationship between science and religion
  • Insights from primatology and anthropology on the evolution of human morality
  • A deep-time view of the trajectory of cosmic history / why death is part of life

  • Episode 2:  Bruce Sanguin - “Evolutionary Christian Mysticism and Cosmological Midrash”

       Bruce Sanguin is pastor of Canadian Memorial United Church, in Vancouver BC—a congregation that, thanks to his leadership, models open-hearted evolutionary Christian spirituality. He is the author of Darwin, Divinity, and the Dance of the Cosmos and If Darwin Prayed.

  • The cosmos seen as unfolding grace and evolving within a field of love
  • How a scientific sense of our true Self can reignite passion and conviction
  • Why one needs deep-time eyes and a global heart to see God's action today

  • Episode 3:  Denis Lamoureux - “Beyond the Evolution vs. Creation Debate”

       Denis Lamoureux, a leading evangelical contributor to the public understanding of evolution, is a professor of science and religion at the University of Alberta. He is a council member of the Canadian Scientific and Christian Affiliation, and author of I Love Jesus and I Accept Evolution.

  • How the “intelligent design” movement dishonors God and distorts science
  • Why and how the church can be its own worst enemy, and what to do about it
  • How evolution can strengthen and deepen conservative, Bible-centered faith

  • Episode 4:  Ross Hostetter - “Integral Christian Spirituality”

       Ross Hostetter is an attorney and former general counsel of the Integral Institute. A leading advocate of Integral Christianity, he is co-founder and director of the Boulder Integral Center, in Colorado.

  • Integral Faith, Integral Christianity, and the promise and perils of Big Integrity
  • How Christianity can further the evolution of consciousness and culture
  • How a depth tradition, “the red thread of love,” runs through Christianity

  • Episode 5:  Karl Giberson - “The Heart and Soul of the Evolution Controversy”

       Karl Giberson is a noted science-and-religion scholar who teaches at Eastern Nazarene College. He is vice president of the BioLogos Foundation, a think-tank helping evangelicals integrate faith with science, and the author of Saving Darwin: How to Be a Christian and Believe in Evolution.

  • Embracing science and evolution while remaining authentically evangelical
  • Recognizing how God is revealing truth to humanity today through science
  • Ways to faithfully reconcile biblical revelation and evidential forms of revelation

  • Episode 6:  John Cobb - “Process Christianity In the 21st Century”

      

    John Cobb is a prominent United Methodist process theologian and long-time professor at Claremont School of Theology. He is the author of 35 books, including, Process Theology: An Exposition, and Christian Faith and Religious Diversity.

  • “God’s power” as not coercive but persuasive, liberating, and transforming
  • Why interventionist views of divine action trivialize God’s presence
  • How an evolutionary view of God and gospel can bless pastoral ministry

  • Episode 7:  Charles H. Townes - “The Convergence of Science and Religion”

      

    Charles Townes was awarded the Nobel Prize in physics in 1964 for his invention of the laser. He received the Templeton Prize in 2005 for contributions to the understanding of religion.

  • An inside, personal look at how the scientific quest propels great discoveries
  • How science is revealing an ever more glorious universe and awesome God
  • Why remaining open to updating our beliefs can be a really good thing

  • Episode 8:  Jim Burklo - “Open Christianity and Progressive Faith”

      

    Jim Burklo is associate dean of Religious Life at the University of Southern California. A former United Church of Christ and Presbyterian pastor, he is the author of Open Christianity: Home by Another Road and Birdlike and Barnless: Meditations, Prayers, Poems, and Songs for Progressive Christians.

  • Direct experience for connecting progressive faith with the Bible
  • Links between prayer (divine communion) and service
  • The most important gifts of evolutionary faith for Progressive Christianity

  • Episode 9:  Brian McLaren - “Naked Spirituality and A New Kind of Christianity”

      

    Brian McLaren is a noted Emerging Church leader. Recognized in Time magazine as one of America's 25 most influential evangelicals, he is the author of 16 books, including, A Generous Orthodoxy, The Secret Message of Jesus, and A New Kind of Christianity.

  • How our science-based creation story expands one’s love for God
  • Introducing youth to a vision of faith in sync with science class
  • How biblical literalism keeps God small and Christianity impotent

  • Episode 10:  John Shelby Spong - “Celebrating Post-Theistic Christian Faith”

      

    John Shelby Spong is a retired Episcopal bishop and prophetic theologian whose books have sold more than a million copies, among them: Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism and Why Christianity Must Change or Die.

  • How Christianity has, for 2,000 years, taken in new sources of revelation
  • What is possible when we move beyond magical, otherworldly notions of God
  • Worshipping God by courageously being everything you can be, serving life

  • Episode 11:  Ian Lawton - “An Inclusive Faith for the ’Spiritual But Not Religious’”

      

    Ian Lawton is a gifted preacher ordained as an Anglican priest in Australia and now pastor of C3 Exchange, an inclusive spiritual community in Michigan. He and his wife Meg established Soulseeds.com to inspire and encourage people in all stages of life.

  • How the “spiritual but not religious” are helping Christianity to evolve
  • Why experiences we all share trump beliefs, theories, and theology
  • How “an impatient zeal for authenticity” can energize pastoral ministry

  • Episode 12:  Kenneth R. Miller - “Evolution and the Battle for America’s Soul”

      

    Ken Miller is a Brown University cell biologist and author of Finding Darwin's God: A Scientist's Search for Common Ground Between God and Evolution and Only a Theory: Evolution and the Battle for America’s Soul. The latter chronicles his role as a lead witness in the 2005 ‘intelligent design’ trial in Dover, Pennsylvania.

  • Why uncritically holding to scripture/tradition leads Christians away from truth
  • That “America has a scientific soul” and what we must do to preserve it
  • How and why science is inherently compatible with religious faith

  • Episode 13:  Michael Morwood - “Evolving Prayer and Ritual Celebrations”

      

    Michael Morwood is a Progressive Christian leader with 40 years experience in retreat, education, parish, and youth ministries. He is the author of Tomorrow's Catholic, Praying a New Story, and Children Praying a New Story: A Resource for Parents, Grandparents, and Teachers.

  • Two paths for interpreting concepts of God, Jesus, sacraments, and prayer
  • Supernatural (unnatural) vs. natural implications of religion and spirituality
  • How the new story of the universe can transform our experience of God

  • Episode 14:  Tom Thresher - “Reverent Irreverence and Integral Faith”

      

    Tom Thresher pastors a United Church of Christ congregation in Suquamish, Washington. A respected voice in Integral Christianity, he also teaches leadership at Bainbridge Graduate Institute. He is the author of Reverent Irreverence: Integral Church for the 21st Century—From Cradle to Christ Consciousness.

  • Ways to honor and celebrate all stages of faith in congregational ministry
  • The importance of playfulness in pastoral ministry and in the life of a church
  • Encountering Jesus through what science reveals of the nature of reality

  • Episode 15:  Richard Rohr - “Radical Grace and Evolutionary Spirituality”

      

    Richard Rohr is a Franciscan priest who founded the Center for Action and Contemplation. A contributing editor for Sojourners magazine and a contributor to Tikkun magazine, he is the author of many books and educational programs, including, The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See and Why Be Catholic?

  • “both-and” thinking as more faithful to God than “either-or” dualistic thinking
  • Greater intimacy with God by way of an evidential, evolutionary view of reality
  • Why doubt and periods of darkness can be gifts of grace

  • Episode 16:  John F. Haught - “Darwin, God, and the Drama of Life”

      

    John Haught is a leading Catholic evolutionary theologian and senior fellow in the study of science and religion at Georgetown University. He is the author of a dozen books, including, Making Sense of Evolution and Christianity and Science: Toward a Theology of Nature. He was a key witness for the plaintiffs at the Dover ‘intelligent design’ trial.

  • Four facets of faithfulness: to God, tradition, science, and the future
  • The importance of having an inspiring vision, grounded in evidence
  • Our sacred task to interpret the drama of life (story of the universe)

  • Episode 17:  Mary Southard - “Deep-Time Art and the Language of the Heart”

      

    Mary Southard is a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph and a student of Thomas Berry. Her paintings, sculptures, and Earth Calendars communicate a sacred and deep-time relationship to Earth and Cosmos across religious divides.

  • Living faithfully in a 13.7 billion year-old Universe of ever-emerging grace
  • How the Universe story expands and enriches traditional Christian theology
  • Jesus as the emergence of a new consciousness in Earth/human history

  • Episode 18:  Matthew Fox - “Evolution and Creation Spirituality”

      

    Matthew Fox is founder of the Creation Spirituality movement. Formerly a Catholic priest, now Episcopal, he was expelled from Catholicism in 1993 by then-Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI). He is the author of 28 books, including, Original Blessing, The Coming of the Cosmic Christ, and A New Reformation.

  • Ritual, dance, song, and other arts for growing spiritually and relationally
  • The tragic consequences of “idolatry of the written word” / spiritual autism
  • A deep-time look at heaven, hell, the crucifixion, ecology, education

  • Episode 19:  Sally Morgenthaler - “When the Inside is the New Outside”

      

    Sally Morgenthaler is a prophetic voice within evangelical Christianity, calling the Church out of its inward focus to become a transforming, generative presence in the world. Bestselling author of Worship Evangelism, she has taught contemporary worship at Yale University, Fuller Theological Seminary, and other institutions.

  • How viewing God as a being belittles the divine
  • A thriving Christianity depends on moving beyond traditional worship modes
  • How neuroscience and technology blur the objective-subjective distinction

  • Episode 20:  Gloria Schaab - “Dwelling in the Word: Divine Revelation in the Cosmos”

      

    Gloria Schaab is a Catholic evolutionary theologian and assistant professor of systematic theology at Barry University in Miami Shores, Florida. Her scholarly work focuses on God as Trinity, evolutionary theology, feminist theology, and the writings of Arthur Peacocke and Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.

  • How an evolutionary appreciation of God’s self-emptying nature transforms us
  • Why learning science is absolutely essential for doing good theology
  • How a theology of relationships leads to deep-time eyes and a global heart

  • Episode 21:  William D. Phillips - “Ordinary Faith, Ordinary Science”

      

    Bill Phillips was co-recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1997 for development of methods to cool and trap atoms with laser light. He is a United Methodist layperson and a founding member of the International Society for Science and Religion.

  • How a world-class scientist interprets the resurrection of Jesus literally
  • Why doubt should be seen as a blessing, rather than a hindrance to faith
  • A clear, inspiring look at how science works and why it’s important

  • Episode 22:  Owen Gingerich - “Evolutionary Creationism”

      

    Owen Gingerich is professor emeritus of astronomy and the history of science at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. A former vice president of the American Philosophical Society and a trustee of the John Templeton Foundation, his books include God’s Universe and The Eye of Heaven: Ptolemy, Copernicus, Kepler.

  • How an Evangelical came to teach the longest-running course at Harvard
  • How God created the atoms of our bodies within stars (and why this matters!)
  • Deepening faith while embracing the findings of science

  • Episode 23:  Ilia Delio - “The Emergent Christ and Evolutionary Catholicism”

      

    Ilia Delio is a senior fellow at Woodstock Theological Center, Georgetown University. Her research projects include science and religion, transhumanism, technology and evolution, ecology and education, and the theology of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. She is the author of Christ in Evolution; Care for Creation; and the forthcoming, The Emergent Christ: Exploring the Meaning of Catholic in an Evolutionary Universe.

  • How incarnational theology and ecological responsibility go hand in hand
  • An evolutionary view of “God is love” and love/God as “the gravity of the soul”
  • How relational theology and evolutionary spirituality can transform the Church

  • Episode 24:  Diarmuid O’Murchu - “Meeting God in Our Evolutionary Story”

      

    Diarmuid O’Murchu is a Catholic priest and social psychologist living in Dublin, Ireland. A leading evolutionary theologian, he is the author of a dozen books, including, Quantum Theology, Evolutionary Faith, and Ancestral Grace.

  • An evolutionary interpretation of the Kingdom of God and divine grace
  • How God is belittled and the cosmos desacralized by God-as-person
  • Divine creativity expressed through 7 million years of human ancestry

  • Episode 25:  Gail Worcelo - “Sisters of Earth and the Legacy of Thomas Berry”

      

    Gail Worcelo is a Catholic nun who co-founded Green Mountain Monastery (with the late Thomas Berry)—a new monastic community dedicated to the healing and protection of Earth and its life systems. A leader in the Sisters of Earth movement, Sr. Gail is working toward grounding religious life within the context of the Universe Story.

  • A masterful articulation of the vision and wisdom of Thomas Berry
  • The prophetic role of eco-friendly Catholic women’s communities
  • How the epic of evolution, interpreted meaningfully, can draw us closer to God

  • Episode 26:  Doug Pagitt - “Universe-Honoring Christianity”

      

    Doug Pagitt is an Emerging Church pastor and consultant for churches and denominations on issues of postmodern culture, social systems, and religious faith. He is co-founder of Emergent Village and the author of A Christianity Worth Believing, among others.

  • Why diverse interpretations of the gospel are helpful/necessary
  • How healthy diversity emerges when institutional barriers are removed
  • Ways to avoid becoming a victim of your own beliefs

  • Episode 27:  Edward B. (Ted) Davis - “A History of the Creation-Evolution Conflict”

      

    Ted Davis is professor of the history of science at Messiah College in Pennsylvania. He is past-president of the American Scientific Affiliation, which is a fellowship of men and women of science and related disciplines who share a common fidelity to the Bible and a commitment to integrity in the practice of science.

  • Moving beyond the “warfare” view of the history of science and religion
  • Why theism makes sense of nature and our ability to understand it
  • A science-informed interpretation of creation, resurrection, “the end times”

  • Episode 28:  Gretta Vosper - “Beyond God: Becoming What We Believe In”

      

    Gretta Vosper is founder of the Canadian Centre for Progressive Christianity. She pastors West Hill United Church in Toronto, which is a progressive community of faith growing out of the Christian tradition. She is the author of With or Without God: Why the Way We Live is More Important than What We Believe.

  • Promise and perils of preaching and modeling nonexclusive evolutionary faith
  • Why local congregations are necessary partners in the evolution of faith
  • How and why the way we live is more important than what we believe

  • Episode 29:  Philip Clayton - “The Emergence of Culture, Mind, and Religion”

      

    Philip Clayton is a philosopher and theologian at Claremont School of Theology, whose focus is the intersection of science and religion. A leading process theologian, he has held visiting professorships at the University of Cambridge, the University of Munich, and Harvard University. His books include The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Science andAll That Is: A Naturalistic Faith for the Twenty-First Century.

  • Why the whole of reality is best understood as an ongoing process
  • “emergence” as the most important concept for bridging science and religion
  • “big history” as our common (and faith-building) creation story

  • Episode 30:  John Polkinghorne - “Science and Faith in Understanding Reality”

      

    John Polkinghorne is a physicist and Fellow of the Royal Society—Britain’s most distinguished science society. He is also an Anglican priest and theologian who was awarded the Templeton Prize in 2002. His books include The Faith of a Physicist and Belief in God in an Age of Science.

  • Divine immanence and transcendence viewed in an evolutionary context
  • Why Jesus’ life and message are still our best ways of learning about God
  • How science enriches spiritual life; why science and religion are not foes

  • Episode 31:  Joan Roughgarden - “Deconstructing Darwinian Selfishness”

      

    Joan Roughgarden is professor of biology and geophysics at Stanford University. Her specialty is the evolution of social and sexual behaviors and mutualistic interactions, emphasizing the role of cooperation. She is the author of Evolution and the Christian Faith; The Genial Gene; and Evolution's Rainbow.

  • How to talk meaningfully to creationists about evolution on biblical grounds
  • Mutual pleasure and teamwork in the evolution of social behavior
  • How outdated metaphors taint understandings of evolutionary processes

  • Episode 32:  Kevin Kelly - “Faith at the Leading Edge of Technology”

      

    Kevin Kelly is co-founder and “senior maverick” of Wired magazine and former publisher and editor of The Whole Earth Review. Author of New Rules for the New Economy; Out of Control; and What Technology Wants, Kelly blends his Christian experience with his leading edge ideas of evolution and the human future.

  • Theological lessons evident in our role as creators of technology with “free will”
  • How an evolutionary view of reality improves our understanding of God
  • Understanding the trajectory and “wants” of technology

  • Episode 33:  Linda Gibler - “An Evolutionary View of Sacraments”

      

    Linda Gibler is a Dominican Sister of Houston and associate academic dean at the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, Texas. She is also adjunct professor for the Loyola Institute for Ministry, science editor for the Collins Foundation Press, and author of From the Beginning to Baptism: Scientific and Sacred Stories of Water, Oil, and Fire.

  • How science can lead to a more glorious view of God and Creation
  • Studying the infinitely large, infinitely small, and infinitely complex to know God
  • How an evolutionary celebration of the sacramental tradition can inspire

  • Episode 34:  Spencer Burke - “The Emerging Church: A Heretical Guide”

      

    Spencer Burke is a former megachurch pastor and now an Emerging Church leader. Creator of TheOOZE.com, an international online community for Christians to connect through articles and social networking, he is the author of A Heretic’s Guide to Eternity.

  • Heretics as insiders who love their tradition and are committed to its evolution
  • Love, compassion, and grace as the heart of evolutionary faith
  • History of the Emerging Church phenomenon and where it seems to be going

  • Episode 35:  Ursula King - “Evolutionary Spirituality and the Power of Love”

      

    Ursula King is professor emerita of theology and religious studies at the University of Bristol, and vice president of the World Congress of Faiths. She is the author of Spirit of Fire: The Life and Vision of Teilhard de Chardin; Religion and Gender; and The Search for Spirituality: Our Global Quest for a Spiritual Life.

  • The transformative power of love in the story of cosmic evolution
  • Valuing the trajectory of life and the evolutionary significance of religion
  • Humanity as a cosmic expression of grace

  • Episode 36:  Joan Chittister - “God and the Evolutionary World”

      

    Joan Chittister is a Benedictine Sister and author of more than 40 books. She co-chairs the U.N. Global Peace Initiative of Women and writes a column for National Catholic Reporter. She is also co-author with Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, of Uncommon Gratitude, which reveals a face of reality that can only be experienced in a state of gratitude.

  • Good theology is about asking wise questions—not parroting old answers
  • Why our views of God matter, and how evolution improves our sense of God
  • How evolutionary theology expands and deepens our moral responsibility

  • Episode 37:  Paul Smith - “Expanding the Trinity: God in 3D”

      

    Paul Smith is co-pastor of Broadway Church in Kansas City, Missouri, where he has served for 47 years. Author of Integral Christianity: The Spirit's Call to Evolve, and Is It Okay to Call God Mother? Considering the Feminine Face of God, he and his church were expelled from the Southern Baptist Convention in 2003 for blessing gay and lesbian unions.

  • How an evolutionary context invites an even more personal walk with Christ
  • Reflecting on Jesus speaking about God, to God, and as God
  • An evolutionary celebration of the Trinity and how this can transform our lives

  • Episode 38:  Michael Dowd - “Evidence as Divine Communication: REALizing Faith”

      

    Michael Dowd is an itinerant evolutionary evangelist and religious naturalist. He is the author of Thank God for Evolution: How the Marriage of Science and Religion Will Transform Your Life and Our World, which was endorsed by a half-dozen Nobel Prize–winning scientists and dozens of religious leaders, liberals and conservatives alike.

  • Why and how the naturalizing of God and guidance will revitalize Christianity
  • “idolatry of the written word” as impeding the evolution of Christianity
  • Tragic costs of viewing religion in terms of unnatural events and processes